Tips on mental prayer

Here are some tips for engaging in mental prayer:

  • Go to a place conducive to prayer so you can consciously acknowledge the presence of God (“Go into to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is there in secret.” Mt 6:6);
  • Start with a simple examination of conscience and approach prayer with an attitude of faith, that is, the desire and ability to act according to the Word of God, who never lies and keeps his promises;
  • Prayer is for everyone without exception, not just the “holy”;
  • At the end of your mental prayer, come up with a resolution about how you plan to live according to the truth you discovered in the scripture;
  • Never panic or worry about not making “progress” in prayer or whether you are “better” today than previously. Sticking to your commitment to try to do mental prayer daily is much more important than whether you are “successful.” It is infinitely better to pray in a distracted fashion, interrupted by hundreds of random thoughts, than to beat yourself up over it, get discouraged, and then quit altogether. That is exactly what Satan wants you to do.
  • Because mental prayer requires concentration and focus, avoid mental prayer while driving. Save the drive for recited prayers like the Rosary. But again, do not fret if you do get distracted during prayer.